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Snellville approves '13 budget

SNELLVILLE -- Despite some confusion over what may or may not have happened during a June 29 City Council meeting, Snellville public officials agreed on a $10 million budget on Monday.

The council voted to approve the Fiscal Year 2013 budget in a 6-0 measure during Monday night's regular meeting.

In another unanimous vote, officials adopted the millage rate at 5 mills, a .7 mill decrease from the previous year.

"Our tax digest has stayed fairly consistent," said Mayor Pro-Tem Tom Witts, addressing a packed room. "The city has maintained its value ... therefore we have the ability to drop the rate you will have to pay on your property taxes."

Monday evening's unanimous votes stood in stark contrast to a contentious gathering of council members on June 29, when many of the officials had planned to originally approve a budget document.

"There was intent to adopt a budget on the 29th," said City Attorney Tony Powell. "There was a question that was raised, however, and in my view when you get a question raised it must be addressed."

Mayor Kelly Kautz was the one who raised the question.

Kautz sent an email last Tuesday informing the council that a "proper motion" was never made to adopt the budget proposed by Witts.

The action taken on June 29 was voided, and the second read was placed back on the Monday agenda.

"There was a great deal of discussion but the discussion was never made part of the motion and a hard copy of the budget was never made part of the record," Kautz wrote. "Under Roberts Rules, an improper motion may be rendered null and void even if it is voted on."

During the heated specially called meeting June 29, the Snellville council passed a $9.6 million budget proposed by Witts, one that did not include a major budget line for an in-progress Livable Centers Initiative project.

Monday's budget included the line as well as "other omitted materials including pavilion repairs and city salaries," Kautz said. All of the items were added back into the FY 2013 budget.

She said the budget approved on Monday is "essential the same one staff proposed in April."